A senior source from BMW in an interview last week with What Car? says that the success being enjoyed by the Tesla Model S, particularly in the United States, has “already convinced many within the i project that there is potential for a model larger than the i3.” The new electric vehicle, likely to be dubbed the i5, could be a crossover style with a raised seating position, or even perhaps a conventional saloon.
The inside source was quoted as saying: “We are having these discussions right now and no decision has been taken. In fact, there’s still not an absolute decision that the car, if it is called i5, should even happen. Many, including myself, believe that there is potential. Then if we decide the car should happen, we need to decide if it is a regular sedan or something where the passengers are sitting slightly higher up.” The source went on to say that there is no gaurantee it will be full electric, but could be a range extended electric, or perhaps even a plug-in electric vehicle.
“Regardless,” said the source, “… the new car will stick to BMW i brand values” which means it will be rear wheel drive, and make extensive use of carbon reinforced plastics in its construction.